Monitoring the deforestation & degradation of the Congo Basin tropical forests by satellite RS from local to regional scale

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Deadline 25 August 2022

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Organisation: Earth and Life Institute - UCLouvain

In the framework of the Observatoire des Forêts d’Afrique centrale supported by the European Commission and other international partners, the Research Laboratory in Geomatics of the Earth and Life Institute (UCLouvain) seeks

a qualified and highly motivated candidate to join its research team for Monitoring the deforestation and the degradation of the Congo Basin tropical forests by satellite remote sensing from local to regional scale (12 months with potential extension).

The Congo Basin forest is the second largest tropical forest area in the world and is currently under pressure due to climate change and fast anthropogenic transformation. Since more than 15 years, the Observatoire des Forêts d’Afrique centrale consolidate the information about the state of the forests for the national Ministers (COMIFAC), regional stakeholders and international donors in order to coordinate their policies and inform all decision makers operating in the region. Our lab being co-founder of the Observatoire, this job will contribute significantly to the development of national capacity for near real time monitoring system by leveraging and consolidating most recent scientific deforestation and degradation Earth Observation products.

Job description

The successful applicant will join a motivated team of young researchers in satellite remote sensing and will be in charge of methodological research and in-depth analysis of different regional forest mapping and monitoring systems using Sentinel optical and SAR data and Planet constellation. In close collaboration with our European and national partners in the Congo Basin, the new researcher will be in charge of various activities of the RIOFAC2 project at UCLouvain, such as

  • benchmarking the existing and forthcoming deforestation and forest degradation EO products derived from satellite Earth Observation in order to develop a consolidated approach;
  • assessing the different forest monitoring systems, in particular those based on open source tools running on cloud computing infrastructure like the FAO SEPAL and SNAP;
  • improving the new tropical forest types maps based on Sentinel-2 data covering the whole Congo Basin and recently developed in the framework of the Observatoire des Forêts d’Afrique centrale;
  • delivering training and capacity building activities for the national experts linked to the Observatoire.

The European RIOFAC2 project supported by the European Commission aims at supporting remote sensing R&D activities for the Observatoire des Forêts d’Afrique centrale . It aims to support national entities to develop their own expertise for monitoring their national forests based on state-of-the-art approach.

Qualifications

The applicant will be:

  • graduated in bioengineering, geography or equivalent;
  • trained in remote sensing and geomatics with very good IT skills;
  • fluent in French and English;
  • motivated for applied research;
  • able to actively contribute to an international collaborative work;

Additional experiences in forest mapping, deforestation monitoring, field trips around the world, advanced satellite image processing and Python and/or R programming are most welcomed.

Application

The contract can start from September/October 2022.The interested candidates are invited to send as soon as possible a curriculum vitae and a motivation letter by email (Brigitte.Bedoret @ uclouvain.be and Pierre.Defourny @ uclouvain.be) and not later than the 25 August 2022.

to Pr. P. Defourny UCLouvain\ELI_Geomatics Croix du Sud, 2 bte L5.07.16 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.